Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife



Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife


He writes of activities on base, rationing and bomber scores.




Temporal Coverage



Five handwritten sheets


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[Royal Air Force crest]
It was good to get your letter today – did me more good than a five pound note.
I quite agree with your opinion of the Labour Exchange. To me they seem crazy. Anyway, if I were you I should refuse to accept a job unless it were a suitable one. Certainly the idea of being billeted out in Abergavenny is ridiculous.
I’m afraid we’ve “had” living out until I’ve finished my tour. They won’t wear it here, and I’m told it’s the same on an operational squadron.
I’m glad your Mother is willing to lend the money. All we’ve got to do now is to find a house. I say “all”, but I know that that’s the most difficult part of it. By all means take the flat in Porthcawl if you fancy it. I only hope it’s not like the furnished house advertised on the Mess notice board here at £16 a month. Pretty steep, isn’t it?
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Still I don’t mind in the least how much we pay provided you can get fixed up. You must be absolutely sick & tired of your position & it’s uncertainty by now, & I’d give anything to see you comfortably settled.
I think it’s a great idea of yours coming up here. Instead of Towcester, though, why not go to Brackley. On Thursday we are due to go to the satellite, Turweston, which is no more than four miles from Brackley. With any luck I should be able to borrow a bike and live out unofficially. That’s what one of the blokes on this course has been doing for a fortnight now. When I get to Brackley I’ll prospect the hotels there and see what are the chances of getting a room on the date you suggest. That will be a fortnight today. I wish it was now!
Nothing more has been said about our 48, so I rather fancy we’ve had it, worse luck.
I have now already attended Church Parade, & find myself no different. The service was O.K. as I sat close to a big hot stove, & was as warm as toast. (You see how spiritual I’ve become nowadays?) Actually, I’ve had only one idea in mind for the past fortnight – how to get warm, so I wasn’t in the mood for spiritual food.
F/L. Cooper (now D.F.C.) has finished his second tour and is now an instructor at Turweston. I haven’t tried my flying underwear yet, but must do so some time.
As far as I can make out, I’m due for leave when I’ve finished this course, & if all goes well that should be somewhere about the beginning of April.
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Saturday night’s bomber score wasn’t so good, was it? Last night’s was much better. We’re all very interested in it here. It reminds me of the days when we used to listen for the close of play Test match scores.
All my love, darling,
P.S. I thought your letter finished earlier than it did, so I’ve missed some things.
I thought that if I posted a letter at breakfast time e.g. tomorrow, Tuesday, you ought to get it the day after, e.g. Wednesday, but apparently not. The one you posted in Abergavenny after seing [sic] the ministry of Labour reached [underlined] here [/underlined] the next day. Very quick wasn’t it.
A dining in night is really a peace time function, when every member of the Mess sits down to dinner with the others. You have to be in
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the ante room half an hour before dinner, & are not allowed to smoke. When dinner is announced, the President leads the way and we all troop in after him. The “king” is drunk after dinner, & then there is the usual orgy of drinking in the ante room, because officers are not allowed to leave the Mess before 10.30. Silly isn’t it?
I feel a bit appalled by the food we get here. We seem to have lashings of margarine and sugar, and get double the ration of chocolate we had at Cark. We also get lots of oranges and apples, and today, at lunch, even some dates. It seems so unfair to me that we should get so much, while civilians are so short. Don’t you agree.
All my love,



Harold Gorton, “Letter from Harold Gorton to his wife,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 21, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/9204.

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